Posted: August 8, 1997

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Morris J. Anderson, chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), named a group of blue-ribbon advisors to assist in the development of the master academic plan for the metropolitan area.

The MnSCU Board of Trustees authorized the completion of a revised and enlarged metropolitan area plan before the start of the 1998 legislative session. Hazel H. Reinhardt, a private consultant, will direct the metropolitan planning effort.

The metro plan will study an 11-county region that includes St. Cloud State University and Mankato State University and provide short- and long-term demographic and enrollment projections, physical plant capacity and facility needs, and coordination of program offerings.

The nine members of the blue-ribbon panel include:

  • John B. Davis, Jr., retired, former president of Macalester College and former superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Delores Fridge, Commissioner of Human Rights
  • Margaret Langfeld, Anoka County commissioner
  • Monica Manning, higher education consultant
  • Gene Merriam, former legislator, chief financial officer of ECM Publishers, Coon Rapids
  • Michael O'Keefe, University of Minnesota regent and executive vice president of the McKnight Foundation
  • Rafael Ortega, Ramsey County commissioner
  • Craig Rapp, director of community development for the Metropolitan Council
  • Steven Rothschild, executive director, Twin Cities Rise

"We need the perspectives of a diverse group of individuals in framing the important issues," said Chancellor Anderson. "Dr. Reinhardt, the blue-ribbon advisory group and the other consultative groups can help ensure that the plan we develop responds to real needs and real opportunities in the metropolitan area."

In addition to the blue-ribbon panel, the process will draw on the counsel of several other specially assembled groups: a technical advisory group of individuals who can consult on data acquisition and analysis, economic forecasting and population analysis and projection; a community linkage committee that will inform the planning process on the educational needs and interests of various community constituencies; a faculty advisory group representing MnSCU colleges and universities in the 11-county region; a student advisory group representing the student bodies in the region; and a legislative leadership group of Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota Senate members.